Cable TV suspended in parts of Pakistan; Senate okays DTH plan


MUMBAI: Cable operators have suspended their services in different areas of Pakistan after unfruitful dialogue with the government on the postponement of Direct-To-Home (DTH) licences to be auctioned tomorrow.

Around three million consumers use Indian DTH, and the government plans to eliminate it through local facilities and save about PKR 24 billion in capital flight to India. Estimates of DTH users range from 70,000 to 2.5 million with most of them concentrated in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi.

Cable services in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Gujarat and Multan have been suspended. In Balochistan's capital Quetta, however, cable TV was still running, Pakistani newspapers reported.

Pakistan's Senate panel on information, broadcasting and national heritage has asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to proceed with its decision to launch an indigenous Direct to Home (DTH) television system.

Opposing the move, operators started suspending their services in various parts following their complete strike call from Monday evening. Cable Operators' Association staged a protest at the press club announcing closure of the services.

The Senate meeting, chaired by senator Kamil Ali Agha, was informed by PEMRA chairman Absar Alam that it held successful meeting with the operators and decided that Pakistani DTH would be launched in November 2017 giving them time for system upgradation. Still, they announced shutdown of cable, he added.

Alam said that operators had no problem with illegal Indian DTH and demanded to lift ban on Indian content. But, they want the PEMRA DTH plan abolished which was unconvincing. Alam said PEMRA had taken concrete steps to stop Indian content and Indian movies on the cable.

Earlier, finance minister Ishaq Dar reportedly refused to agree to operators' demand and decided that the DTH auction will be held as per schedule on Wednesday. The successful bidder however would start its operation from November next year.

Not budging from their positions, operators are now likely to go on strike for an indefinite period. Cable Operators Association chairman Khalid Arain, on 15 November, said that DTH launch was not justified since the cable operators invested billions in converting the analogue cable system into the digital one. Arain said they needed at least three years to create awareness among the people about cable digitalisation.

Unlike the analogue connections, DTH service is a digital platform that transfers channels directly into homes from satellite through small dish antennas. The service is reliable and allows consumers to view high-definition video. The quality of channels at the end on the bandwidth does not diminish such as those on cable.

Also read

Pak to award three DTH licences on 23 Nov; Chinese, UAE companies also in fray

Latest Reads

Tata Sky Binge+ becomes available at lower price

KOLKATA: Keeping customer interests at the forefront, Tata Sky has further fine-tuned the pricing of its android TV-powered smart set top box, Tata Sky Binge+. Converging the strengths of DTH and the world of OTT content together on the television screens, this new age device will now be available...

DTH DTH Operator
Active DTH subscribers reach 70.26 million, Tata Sky solidifies its lead

KOLKATA: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators’ data for the January- March’20 quarter. Sustaining its growth pace for three quarters in a row, Tata Sky has solidified its lead yet again in the DTH and Pay TV category...

DTH DTH Operator
Dish TV to push 50% STB manufacturing in India

KOLKATA: Dish TV India Ltd announced the manufacturing of its set-top boxes in India. Demonstrating its commitment to the government’s ‘Make in India’ vision, Dish TV India has shifted the production of its set-top boxes to India, adopting a ‘vocal for local’ strategy. The first consignment of made...

DTH DTH Operator
Watcho revamps its user-generated content offering; launches Watcho Swag

KOLKATA: Dish TV India’s OTT platform, Watcho, the home-grown online video streaming app has gained immense popularity in the country through its fresh short format content and its overall bouquet of offerings. Watcho has been enthralling the viewers with exclusive or original shows, linear TV and...

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Sky partners with Accedo to develop the user interface of Tata Sky Binge+

KOLKATA: Accedo has worked with Tata Sky, India’s leading content distribution platform to develop the user interface for its latest offering, Tata Sky Binge+ Smart Set-top Box. The Android TV enabled device provides content from Linear Television and a host of OTT apps onto a television screen.  

DTH DTH Operator
DD Free Dish adds three new channels

KOLKATA: The state broadcaster run free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish has added three new channels. These include ANB News, Aryan TV National and News India 24×7. These channels won the bid during the 47th e-auctions that was held on 26 August. They are allotted slots for the period between 1...

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Sky’s partner Technicolor to shift settop box manufacturing to India

KOLKATA:  In a big move, Tata Sky, India’s direct-to-home (DTH) operator has decided to shift a significant portion of its settop box sourcing within the country. It has partnered with Technicolor to develop settop boxes for the Indian market that will be manufactured and distributed within India...

DTH DTH Operator
DishTV and D2H expand regional HD content portfolio, add 6 new HD channels

KOLKATA: Expanding its portfolio of regional language channels, Dish TV India Limited, India’s leading DTH Company, has announced the addition of six new HD channels to its DishTV and D2H platforms. With this, the company aims to provide unparalleled entertainment to the customers in the southern...

DTH DTH Operator
Customers are in an omnichannel world now, reaching them is a lot more complex: Tata Sky's Anurag Kumar

India’s undisputed DTH leader Tata Sky unveiled a digital campaign to celebrate its 14 anniversary recently. Of all other usual campaigns, it stands out in its approach of keeping consumers at the heart of the video.

DTH DTH Operator

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required